ISLAMABAD-Caretaker Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi on Tuesday said that first Pakistani astronaut Namira Salim was pride of the nation, and a torchbearer for the youth and inspiration for women. Addressing a press conference along with Namira Salim, the minister said that the government was proud that it had supported Namira’s space mission. “Those parents who encourage their daughters are a source of pride for the nation,” he added. Speaking on the occasion, Namira Salim said she was grateful to the Ministry of Information for introducing her to the whole country as the “First Pakistani Astronaut” in 2006 and she finally made it true after 17 years. It was her childhood dream and the country had supported her a lot in the journey to space, she added.
“It was my dream to represent Pakistan,” Namira Salim said, “and I proudly carried the Flag of Pakistan to space.” The first Pakistan astronaut said through space diplomacy, she was giving the message of peace in the world.
Namira said she was grateful to the Government of Pakistan and her parents who had played an important role in facilitating her journey to space. She said after commercialisation, the cost of space travel had decreased and aspiring Pakistani astronauts would be able to fulfill their dream of space tourism in near future. She said that the cost of building satellites and space ships might be far less in Pakistan than many countries. As the cooperation in space industry had increased all over the world, the Pakistani private entrepreneurs should venture in this sector too, she added. She stressed the need of introducing a space curriculum in educational institutions so that the new generation should pursue career in the vital field.